Monday, November 29, 2021

Motorola MT150-HT51 is a Great 5.1 Channel Home Theatre Below Rs. 10,000: Detailed Review

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Sound
Features
Value for Money
The 150 Watt Motorola MT150-HT51 is a true 5.1 channel home theatre with 5 discrete speakers & separate subwoofer. It has all the connectivity options you can think of including HDMI ARC and Bluetooth 5.0. It delivers decent entry level surround movie experience with clean sound and adequate bass at low-mid volume but cracks up at high volume and bass. It is best suited for entry level home theatre enthusiasts.

Summary

The 150 Watt Motorola MT150-HT51, launched in June 2020, has a separate 70 watt subwoofer and 5 separate speakers, making it a pure 5.1 channel home theatre. It has HDMI ARC IN, optical IN, USB IN, AUX IN, SSD IN, DVD 5.1 IN and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. FM radio is also available.

Pro Logic feature allows 2.1 to 5.1 conversion and vice versa.

Motorola MT150-HT51 offers high level of customization. All the 5 speakers can be set at separate volume levels. Bass and treble levels are customizable separately.

This home theatre is several notches better than its sibling, the MT80-HT51. It delivers good sound separation for a decent home theatre experience. Go for it if you have just started your home theatre journey and are looking to buy your first budget 5.1 channel home theatre.

USB does not allow movie playback, only audio. Upto 32 GB USB size is allowed.

Another point of note is Motorola MT150-HT51 has HDMI version 1.4.

  • Physically separate 5 channels
  • Multiple input options
  • Good entry level home theatre
  • Separate volume levels for speakers
  • Flexibility to change bass and treble separately
  • FM Radio
  • 2.1 to 5.1 conversion with Pro Logic

  • Sound loses clarity at high treble and bass level
  • No Dolby

Introduction

The Motorola MT150-HT51 is a 150 watt full 5.1 channel home theatre system. It is a part of the AmphisoundX range of home theatres launched by Motorola in June 2020. These are available only on Flipkart.

The Motorola MT150-HT51 comes with a 70 watt wire-connected subwoofer and total 80 watts of five satellite speakers for front left, front right, centre, rear left and rear right channels. The satellite speakers are identical barring separate stickers at the rear identifying individual location.

Check out how it performs against its competitors, the Sony HT-X8500 Soundbar and the Creative Stage V2 Soundbar.

Motorola MT150-HT51

It has multiple connectivity options including important ones like Bluetooth 5.0 and HDMI ARC. Other features include FM radio and Pro Logic sound. The MT150-HT51 was launched at a price point of Rs. 10,999 but is available at discount during festive seasons. It is available online only on Flipkart. The AmphisoundX range includes 2.1, 4.1 and 5.1 variants of home entertainment and home theatre systems. Know more about Motorola MT80-HT51.

What Is In The Box

  • Satellite Speakers (5)
  • Subwoofer (1)
  • AC Adapter (1)
  • RCA to 3.5mm AUX Cable (1)
  • Remote Control (1)
  • FM Cable (1)
  • User Manual (1)

No HDMI cable or Optical cable has been provided.

First Looks

There are five separate surround speaker units each with a single 3-inch driver giving out 16 watts. Each surround speaker weighs 900 grams. All the surround speakers are identical with a location- identification sticker pasted at the rear of each unit. All surrounds have a single screw hook for wall mounting. 4 thin rubber cushions have been provided at the bottom.

The satellites are all black with a mix of glossy and wood finish and wear the Motorola logo in the front. The cabinets of all satellite speakers of MT150-HT51 are made of MDF unlike those of MT80-HT51 which are made of cheap looking glossy ABS plastic. Wire length is sufficient for a small to mid sized room.

The Subwoofer is the centre-piece of MT150-HT51. It is made of engineered wood (MDF) with deep wraparound grooves giving it a beefy look. Its weighs a good 9 kgs. Black wood finish has been given to front wooden surfaces. Other wood surfaces are finished in matt black. Motorola logo adorns the grill of the subwoofer.

Motorola MT150-HT51

Towards the top of the subwoofer is an attractive console of 6 control buttons placed in a ring formation around a glossy LCD display. The display itself is large, functional and displays limited but adequate information. This control console allows POWER ON & SOURCE SELECTION, PLAY/PAUSE, VOLUME +, VOLUME-, FORWARD/NEXT TRACK and REVERSE/ PREVIOUS TRACK.

The subwoofer driver is 8 inch and delivers 70 Watt power. One bass port has been provided on the right side of the subwoofer. One the top right side are given USB IN and SD IN ports. The subwoofer unit carries all the input ports and control buttons.

For those who like color, the MT150-HT51 allows multi-colored LED lighting around the subwoofer driver. The fancy colored changing lights will appeal to party lovers.

Motorola MT150-HT51

There is a plethora of input options. At the rear of the subwoofer unit are the HDMI ARC IN, OPTICAL IN, RCA AUX IN and DVD 5.1 IN ports.

Through the DVD 5.1 IN you can connect audio separate OUTS from your DVD, Blue-Ray or TV to this home theatre system via RCA cables (these RCA cables have to be bought separately). This is useful if you have neither optical OUT or HDMI out in your DVD, Blue-Ray or TV. 

All the speaker outputs for front left, front right, centre, surround left and surround right have been provided at the rear of the subwoofer. 

The FM antenna port and power ON/OFF switch has been provided. 

Rubber cushioning has been provided at the subwoofer bottom.

Remote is a compact unit with adequate functions.

Installation and Wiring

The installation of Motorola MT150-HT51 is easy. Place the front left and front right speakers on the left and right side of your TV. Place the surround left and right at the back of your seating position. Alternatively, you can hang all the speakers on walls with the help of single screws. 

The centre channel speaker is the main speaker unit responsible for dialogues in movies. In high-end home theatre systems, centre channel speaker is the largest and has three drivers, 2 woofers and a tweeter. Also, the centre channel speaker is designed to be kept horizontally so as to tuck neatly under and in front of the TV for better audibility of dialogues.

But to save a bit on costing, Motorola made the centre channel speaker exactly like all the other surround speakers. This is fine considering the price range of this home theatre. You can place the centre channel speaker horizontally beneath the TV. It will look a bit odd though.

The subwoofer unit is forward firing with a port on the right side. Since all connections go into the subwoofer unit, the subwoofer can be categorised as wired because all the speakers are connected physically through wires to the subwoofer. It is best to place the subwoofer on the floor rather than on the cabinet or table. This will help dampen vibrations. Make sure there is enough space on the right side to allow breathing room for the subwoofer port. If you prefer compact and clutter-free installation, Sony HT-G700 with wireless subwoofer is a good option.

Motorola MT150-HT51

Next connect the speaker wires to the respective marked RCA jacks at the rear of the sub-woofer.

For enjoying 5.1 sound, connect via either HDMI IN, OPTICAL IN or DVD 5.1 IN. This home theatre runs on HDMI version 1.4 and not the latest version 2.1.

For 2.1 sound, connect via either Bluetooth 5.0 or 3.5mm to RCA AUX IN using the cable provided.

USB port has been provided along with an SD card slot on the subwoofer if you wish to stream content using those.

Next, connect the Motorola MT150-HT51 to the power socket and power ON.

Review

Audio Features

For better sound, connect the MT150-HT51 through either HDMI ARC or OPTICAL instead of AUX IN.

Bass and treble equalisers can be separately set using BASS and TREBLE buttons on the remote. Both bass and treble can be set from -6 to 6 levels. These controls work as equalisers and are different from the bass volume level. To set the bass volume or loudness use the SELECT button on the remote.

One very good feature of the Motorola MT150-HT51 is the option to adjust the volume level of speakers individually. This allows you to balance out the sound output from the speakers. To do this, use the SELECT button on the remote control.

Once SELECT is pressed, the small LCD display shows the selected speaker-set and its corresponding set volume level. Pressing SELECT shows ‘f’ (front right and left), ‘c’ (centre), ‘b’ (bass), ‘s’ (surround right and left) volume levels. You can individually select the volume levels of these speaker sets anywhere between 0 to 30 level. For example if your seating position is far away from the surround speakers, you can keep their volume higher.

This is a very useful feature to get that perfectly balanced sound levels. In more expensive home theatres, this setting and calibration is done automatically by the AV Receiver. 

Another useful feature is the option to switch between 5.1 and 2.1 mode using the PRO LOGIC button on the remote. This is useful because all audio content is not 5.1. You can convert a stereo audio to 5.1 audio with this option. 

You can choose Bluetooth, FM, OPTICAL, HDMI, AUX or DVD through the SOURCE button on the remote. 

HDMI Version

The MT150-HT51 runs on HDMI version 1.4. This should not be of much concern since version 1.4 allows upto 4K video upto 30 fps (Frames per second). It is 3D compatible as well.

The latest HDMI version is 2.1 which allows 4k upto 60 fps, HDR (HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby vision). This version is found on high end home theatres. For normal home theatre purposes at the budget range in which MT150-HT51 operates, version 1.4 is more than sufficient. The peripheral devices such as TV, FireTV etc. have to set up accordingly.

Sound

Music playback at low to medium volume level is good with clear vocals and mids. Classic music plays out brightly. So these speakers add their own brightness to the music. Pop, techno and rock music also plays out towards the brighter side. The treble or highs are clean. Mids and vocals are very good.

The MT150-HT51 is good for those who like bright and loud music and are not too finicky about audio fidelity. 

The lows or bass are fairly OK and sufficient for mid sized rooms. Once bass volume crosses the ‘25-level’ the sound loses clarity very fast. The bass and treble equalizer levels can be changed using the BASS and TREBLE button on the remote. The specifications mention that the subwoofer is capable of frequency range 12 Hz to 130 Hz. The 12 Hz seems to be a tall claim since this low a frequency come at a high price point in subwoofers like SVS, etc.

Both bass and treble level are best left to ‘0’ because the moment you deviate from ‘0’ (anything from -6 to 6), the entire sound quality deteriorates to a jumble of noise.

Overall, sound clarity is good at upto mid volume level of around ‘20’. At high volume the music loses clarity. The sound is clean but lacks certain depth that comes from high end audio equipment. There is no Dolby audio.

Motorola MT150-HT51 is a must buy for those wishing to try out an entry level 5.1 home theatre experience. It gives a decent experience of movie surround sound. 

This is not that great for those preferring quality music. This home theatre gives an overall balanced bass experience. Trying to play at high bass volume or high bass gain will not be a pleasant experience.

Bluetooth

The Motorola MT150-HT51 has Bluetooth v5.0 through which TV or mobile can be connected using the SOURCE button on the remote as well as the SOURCE button on the subwoofer. 

Sound output through bluetooth is smooth and without issues. Range is also upto 8-10 meters.

Remote

The infrared remote is small and handy. All available features can be controlled using the remote. 

Individual bass and treble levels can be set with the help of dedicated BASS and TREBLE buttons. Using the SELECT button, individual volume levels of all speakers can be set.

Buttons of remote however do not give a great tactile experience and feel just about adequate, if not cheap.

Verdict

The Motorola MT150-HT51 should be on the shortlist of all entry level home theatre lovers. It has a wide variety of connectivity options including HDMI ARC and OPTICAL IN. Bluetooth 5.0 and FM Radio are added features. The Motorola MT150-HT51 gives users a satisfactory feel of true 5.1 home theatre audio with clean audio upto mid volume level. It gives decent audio experience for music lovers as well. Overall a must buy at this price point.

Specifications

FeaturesSpecifications
FeaturesSpecifications
No. of SpeakersTotal 5 active speakers 
3 satellite speakers- 3 inch, 16 watt each
1 subwoofer- 8 inch, 70 watts
Speaker Power OutputTotal 150 Watt RMS
Subwoofer: 1 nos. 70 watt, 8 ohms
satellite: 5 nos. x16 watt, 4 ohms
SubwooferYes, wire-connected
DimensionsSatellite: 125mm (Width) x 222mm (Height) x 116mm (Depth)
Subwoofer: 310mm (Width) x 374mm (Height) x 382mm (Depth)
Input PortHDMI ARC IN, USB IN, RCA AUX IN, OPTICAL IN, DVD 5.1 IN, SD CARD IN
HDMI Version1.4
USBOnly audio playback. Upto 32 GB USB size allowed
Output PortNIL
BluetoothYes, v5.0
Frequency Response120 Hz-20,000 Hz
Subwoofer- 12 Hz to 130 Hz
Satellites- 150 Hz to 20,000 Hz
WeightSubwoofer- 9 kg
Satellites- 0.9 kg x 5 nos. = 4.5 kgs
FM RadioYes

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Please also let us know about Motorola AmphisoundX Wireless Bluetooth 160W Soundbar.
    Can it is worth buying this Soundbar ??????

    • The Motorola AmphisoundX 160 Watt may be a good fit for you if you are looking for a 2.1 channel soundbar at around Rs.10k price range. It has a 60 watt 6.5 inch subwoofer driver which should be able to deliver nice bass. I think it is designed to be pretty loud. Wireless subwoofer is an added advantage too. Look out for a more detailed review!

    • Hi Vish, the F&D has pretty good connectivity options including an app based connect-up. The output frequency specs of F&D look exaggerated. At the price point, audio quality will be pretty much same for both the systems. Go for Motorola if you prefer a slightly premium brand. Go for F&D if you prefer convenience of operating out of an app.

  2. By describing as 5.1 system, Motorola is misguiding people.
    – HDMI never works.
    – Optical input works but since sound processor is only stereo, it supports only PCM audio stream
    – For rest of inputs i.e bluetooth/Aux/5 channel RCA DVD,amplification gain is so low that it outputs only after volume of 24. Max. volume is 30.
    THIRD GRADE CHINESE PRODUCT.

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